'I really love your African fabrics, but what can I do with them?'
It's a common refrain and Magie usually replies, 'Cut 'em up and put 'em back together again.'
And that pretty much sums up our quilt kits. Magie designs some of them, but they are mostly by our friend - textile artist Helen Conway, who loves African fabrics.
Our bag kits are designed exclusively for The African Fabric Shop by our friend Dorothy Dean.
Dot is crazy about bags and loves African fabrics. Her bags are easy to make and fantastic to look at. Try one!
Our jewellery kits are designed exclusively for The African Fabric Shop by our friend Isobel Holland. Isobel helps out in other ways as well, basically taking over the show when we're on the road in Africa.
Isobel is a talented and creative jewellery designer. Her kits are easy to make and really show off our handmade, recycled African beads.
Watch out for Isobel's occasional jewellery making workshops, as well.
'You know so much about African fabrics. You should write a book!'
That's what people kept saying. So we did. It's called African Wax Print: A Textile Journey and you can buy it right here on our website (much cheaper than Amazon!)
We also stock a few other hard to find, specialist titles about African textiles written by friends of ours like John Gillow and Christopher Spring, both recognised African textiles gurus.
Magie's been to Kenya a couple of times in recent years as guest teacher for the Kenya Quilt Guild. Through the Guild, she met Christine Kibuka.
When Magie saw Christine's beautiful embroidered panels, she just had to have them for the shop. It took some convincing - Christine was worried her stitching wasn't good enough - but they really are lovely and now she can barely keep up with demand. Well done, Christine!
These heavy duty wood printing blocks are not just historical artefacts. You can use them yourself to print fabrics.
We bought these last few remaining blocks from A Brunnschweiler & Co in Manchester when they closed down their African wax print works and moved fabric production to Akosombo, Ghana.
If you've ever been to Africa or elsewhere in the developing world, you'll know that keeping the environment tidy is an unaffordable luxury. Eating comes first, cleaning up is way down the list.
Which is not to say that African's don't care about their environment: far from it. Witness Ghana's Trashy Bag project. Boys who would otherwise be unemployed scour the streets collecting discarded plastic water bags. After a thorough cleaning, Trashy Bag staff members then cut and sew these bags into these recycled products: Trashy Bags!
They're strong, durable, eco-friendly and very cool.
Sorry, we don't have any Gift Vouchers items in stock at present